Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone

Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone

I first became an entrepreneur 20 years ago, and at first, it was sink or swim. I swam only because I didn't know what else to do. I never gave up when things didn't go my way, because I didn't realize that there was a choice; I could have got another job, or stayed fighting to ensure that the business was a success.

To be here in 2019, in a totally different position to my naive 25 year old self. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. All I knew is that the business had to survive. I had to put myself out of my comfort zone, pitch the business over and over again, and often accept the cold harsh reality of rejection.

For some reason even though there seemed to be a lot of "bad" days, I loved it. I thrived as an individual and business person. I eventually got over my fear of sales which was a momentus leap given that my introverted personality was my biggest drawback. I stopped the comparison to big corporations and started to re-invent who we were, what we did and how we did it, creating a unique value proposition that set the company apart from competitors.

Through my friendship with a client who was leaving to have a baby, my first really big ah-ha moment happened. I realized that there were very capable women in the workforce who no longer could commit to a fulltime position as their lives were changing and they wanted to be good mothers that helped their children develop in the most important years of their lives. In that moment of realization I came up with Marketing Eye and was backed by one of the most successful business people on the planet.

With every good intention and a strategy in place, I failed. I couldn't get the concept of an outsourced marketing department off the ground in the way I imagined it would fly. I soon realized that many entrepreneurs have a glass half full and they really believe in their "good" ideas. I was one of them. I believed in it so much, I could not for the life of me understand why it was not working.

It came to crunch point and I was forced to make changes. Those changes not only saved the business, but they also were the foundation to bring it forward and become an industry leader. I got lucky... but they say, "you create your own luck", and I really believe there was a bit of that too.

Life takes many twists and turns and with success I looked outside my own business to seek out ways in which I could use my experiences and knowledge to help others. People who needed it most and didn't have the funds to start a business or the knowledge to make it successful. The World Incubator was born and helped a number businesses start from the ground up in rural North Queensland. We mostly gave people the belief that anything is possible and that others believed in them, when sometimes they didn't believe in themselves.

It was a tough journey by many accounts but worthwhile and to have 18 world-class speakers come to Townsville to share their experiences in business with locals was one of the proudest moments of my life.

From that hard work and commitment to the community, I had the opportunity to spend time with Queensland University of Technology. I would like to first say, that this University is extremely forward thinking and ahead of the curve. It's not what they said or showed me, but how they inspired me to think differently. For them to invent anything, they need to look outside the box and there was another ah-ha moment in my dealings with them that created my most significant business idea, one that is proving to be "the one". 

We all hope to find a unicorn and mostly we never do. I think that for the first time in my life, we have it and I can thank the entrepreneurs around me for that. By listening to people share their stories, I learn. By listening to podcasts and reading books, I learn. 

I listen to every single person I can get in front of. Their stories will in some shape or form help me become a better business person and I know the value in those conversations.

Robotic Marketer is fast becoming the hottest marketing technology platform in the market. It's uptake has been phenomenal and I can thank large corporations for their faith in the product and bravery for taking a startup on, for this success.

I have worked with many technology startups but there have been no other startups that I have worked with in my entire career that have grown so fast, so quickly. While there are many that raise a lot of cash and throw it up against the wall, I have built a company on a shoestring and it has been my biggest advantage. This in itself made sales so much more important than having the biggest and most expensive teams, or leadership camps in exotic locations. Instead, I have had a team of people who believe that anything is possible and have really rolled up their sleeves.

We will raise money but we won't waste it. We will build a team, but it will be lean. We will create a company culture that is driven, kind and talented - but that won't be bought. There is so much we can do that can really step up the startup process and drive a sustainable business not relying on people who want fat cheques.

Our clients will share our values and we will work in partnership. We will listen to what they have to say and work tirelessly on their customer experience building upon their feedback, good and bad. 

I know this is my dream, but it's yours too. If you are an entrepreneur or marketer, there is some role that my dream will play in yours. Isn't that truly amazing? 

But entrepreneurship isn't for everyone and that's for sure. Sometimes I doubt myself, but then by coincidence something good happens to remind me why I chose this path in the first place - as fate would have it.

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comment ( 1 )
  • Rinaldo
    17 May 2019

    Hi Mellissah, great story on your entrepreneurship journey and a great insight into how different specific scenarios had motivated you to become an excellent entrepreneur for the Robotic Marketer. Commitment and consistency are very important approaches one has to take for their business to continue growing and it is clear that you stuck with those exact principles to form a successful career for yourself!

    Thank you for a wonderful read!